Assurance

Hebrews 11:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

When we live by Faith, we know that God will hear our prayer and answer in His way that is best for us. We know that even if we can’t see the outcome, because it comes from God it will be bigger and better than we could ever have imagined.

God knows the desires of our hearts, because He places them there and even when our faith isn’t sure how it’s all gonna work out, we trust Him because He loves us and only wants what is best for us.

I know how easy it is for the enemy to place doubt in us, and that is when we must hold that thought captive, not speak it, not think on it and definitely, not dwell on, because we are given the assurance in his word that our faith, no matter how small, is enough.

I have found that whenever I share my love for Jesus and His unfailing faithfulness with others, that’s when the enemy is on the prowl. He doesn’t want us to share Jesus with others because, once again, he loses. Stand strong in your faith. Trust our Almighty Savior. If you are walking through a valley right now and feel like you are in the pits and there is no way out, pray, cry out to the Lord, ask him to strengthen you and your faith.  Share with him your concerns, let him carry the burden.  The most amazing thing to me, is that we all try to fix everything and it’s not our job to fix anything or anyone, it’s his.

As I walk in this new journey of learning a new way of doing life, I often wonder how long of a time it took me to realize that Jesus is always with me, He will never leave me, He is my peace and he is the finisher of my faith.

Often times, we place more value on what other’s think, than what God thinks.  That’s part of our flesh nature.  But when we came to Jesus Christ and accepted him, as our Lord and Savior, we should throw out that way of thinking and realize that the only one that matters is Him.

It’s easy to get off track sometimes, when you don’t see the light and the end of the tunnel, but then I realize that the light lives within me. I can choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus and embrace all that I  am thanks to him, or I can wallow in self pity and try to do things on my own.  That never works.

I think I had to write this more for me, than for all of you, but I hope that you know how much Jesus Loves you-right where you are.

Lord Jesus,

I pray today that as I struggle to see where you are taking me, that you will strengthen my faith, and forgive my doubt and unbelief. I pray that those that read this will know that you are with them every second of the day and that you hear every prayer, spoken or unspoken and that you will pour out your peace upon them.  Thank you Jesus for everything you have done in me, my life and through me. I love you Lord.

In your Holy name,

Amen

Blessings on your journey called life!coast-1342646_640

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New Journey on a different path

Called to Peace

I  have created my own website, and I will be posting my blogs on there for now.  I wanted to let all of you know that currently follow this blog that I love your comments and friendship through this blogging experience and I will still be coming to WordPress to read your thoughts and share in your experiences in this journey we call life.

At this point, I will most likely halt my blogging on this site.

I have felt in my heart God calling me to help and encourage others not only by blogging, but reaching out and making new connections, praying for others and continuing with current connections. Having my own site, gives me that opportunity to do more than I can accomplish here at this time.

I would love for you to connect with me on the new site.  Please follow the link to connect.

May you always remember and never forget that Jesus Loves you! And I am very blessed to know you.

Much love,

Carlene

Jesus, Love, Mercy & Me Website

 

 

Work in Progress

I have said this to many people in the past, and funny how now I am hearing my own words, echoing in my mind. God isn’t finished with you yet. He still has work for you to do. images

So, as I sit here reflecting over the decisions I have made in the last month, I realize that we are all a “work in progress” daily as we walk with the Lord. He doesn’t want us to stay in one place for the rest of our lives or one position or even one church.

I attended a Vineyard church for over 8 years and thought I would never leave there. I loved it there. Loved the people, felt the presence of God and loved all the outreach and encouraging ministries there were to show God’s love in a practical way.  They were my family.  And they are still part of my family, but God had other plans for me.

At the end of my journey with the Vineyard family, I felt a tug on my heart to leave there and go to another local church, for which I have been in attendance for over a year and a half now. It wasn’t easy. It was quite painful to say goodbye. But, God equips us in many ways and has many tools to watch us grow, so we can serve Him better in advancing His Kingdom-Earth as it is in Heaven Kingdom.

Sometime’s God moves us to help us grow, sometimes he moves us to help others grow, but in the grand scheme of things, He knows so much better than we could ever hope or imagine. Our minds can’t comprehend all of his detailed plans, that’s why we get just what we need to go and grow.

I was posed the question at our Women’s Ministry Life Group (as well as other women) was there ever a time in your life when God was pruning you to be the person he chose you to be and was it painful or how did it grow you?

So, I shared this testimony with them and now I will share it with you.

About 8 or 9 years ago, while I was at work on the sales floor of the store I worked in and I was counting product to make sure the inventory counts were correct and checking pricing to make sure there were no errors, a customer turns and enters the aisle where I am working. I stood up, and asked her if there was anything I could help her with. She shakes her head no and thanks me. So, I stoop back down to the lower shelf and start recounting the items, but I notice she is still standing there, looking sad and forlorn and then I hear God saying you need to pray for her.  Now, as luck would have it, at that time, I was terrified of saying prayers out loud.  I know it sounds silly. But I was great at praying for someone in a letter, email or text message, but actually praying aloud scared me something fierce. So, I just kept counting and I kept feeling the urging to pray for her. I know that I argued  silently with the Lord, saying things like, really?? You want me to pray for her? You know this makes me really uncomfortable Lord???Why can’t someone else do it?? Why me??? But the more I kept thinking this way, the stronger the sense came that I needed to do it.

So, as I stood up, I asked God to give me the words to speak with this woman again. (This all took about 30-60 seconds to argue with God and lose.)

She was still standing there, as if she was waiting on something or possibly someone. Again, I said are you sure there isn’t anything I can do for you? I said my name is Carlene, what’s your name, if I might ask? She told me her name was Robin and then the tears started flowing and this is what she said.

“I have a brain tumor. My doctor has told me without the surgery I will die for sure. And with the surgery, there is a 50-50 chance they will get it all. I believe in Jesus. My family doesn’t.  They think that I should not do the surgery and just stay with them for the time I have left. I am so afraid right now. I have prayed and I feel like this is what I am supposed to do, but I just don’t know. “And the tears kept flowing.

I said to her, “Robin would it be okay if I prayed for you?” She said, “yes, that would be okay.” I said, “now, can I pray for you here right now?” She was overwhelmed with joy and said yes, please.  I asked God to give me the words and I asked her out loud if I could place my hand on her shoulder and pray. With her permission, I prayed. I have no idea what i said, I let the Holy Spirit guide my words. When I finished, she hugged me and thanked me and I told her she was welcome. Then the most astonishing thing happened, she said,”today as I was leaving my home to get the things I needed, I asked God to give me a sign that He was in control and that if I went through with this surgery,everything would be okay; and now I know without a doubt, I am having the surgery. Maybe, my family will finally believe in Jesus!”

And then, I cried. We hugged and she went on with her shopping and I just stood there-in awe and amazement that God had used me to increase her faith in Him and his promises.

Well, I must say that I wasn’t much good for working my normal job anymore that day. I went to my office and shared with my co-worker, what had just happened and I was so overwhelmed with joy and I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I was experiencing, just wow!

Had I not listened to the prompting to pray for her, would He have found someone that was willing to be obedient to His calling for Robin? And I would have missed out on the huge blessing it was for me to pray for her.

That day changed my life. I learned that we can stay stuck in our comfort zones or we can learn to experience what God has for us by simply trusting that His Will is so much better than we can imagine.

Fast forward 9 years, and I am without employment as I sit here and write this out. My choice, by the leading of God.  When  you have been employed somewhere for over 16 years, but know that it is time to leave for many reasons-mainly major health issues, the part of you that used to worry about making ends meet realizes that if changes are not  made you might meet your end, you start asking God what is the next step? What is His Will for your life? I know we all stay in jobs, because we have bills and responsibilities and I have always strongly believed in taking care of those priorities and still do, but when God gave me the peace I needed to leave, it was like nothing I could explain. If you don’t live with the Peace of God in  your heart, it’s hard to explain. But you just know, He has it all worked out and you just trust Him. That’s what I am doing now and where I am at now.

God has placed a call on my heart to share His story of love and grace. I am now in the final draft stage of a book that was written with His input. Am I worried that no one will like it? No, not really. I know it has been a blessing to me and the few friends I have shared it with and I know God is happy with it. Would I love to become an author that shares His Word and his promises? Well, I never really gave it much thought until God placed this on my heart. I guess I would have to say yes. I love sharing my testimonies with others. When the book is complete, I will share a link on here for anyone that is interested in grabbing a copy.

The best thing I can say now, is listen to what God is telling you. Even if you think, there is no way, Lord. No way, I can do this. Remember this – you can do ALL things through Jesus Christ, He is your strength!

God loves you and so do I! May your days be filled with blessings and may your cup overflow with love!

Until next time,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My baby boy

moving day

My baby boy is definitely not a baby anymore. He’s 6’4″, stocky and almost 20. But, if you are a parent, more specifically a mom, than you understand~he will always be my baby.

He moved out last weekend, into his very first apartment with his cousin and cousin’s fiancee. Now, it did not appear he would have much to take, until the time came to load the moving van and take it away.

I am happy for him that he was able to do this and even happier that he is still close enough to come by and visit.  He’s already warned me that he will be coming here to do his laundry; personally I think it’s an excuse to see me and raid our fridge, but I’ll take it.

He has taught me so much about love and giving of yourself and being there in times of need.  And through a lesson, many Christmases ago, God allowed me to teach him about faith and what it looks like.

He was about 9 or 10 and we were getting ready to put up the artificial tree, when lo and behold, the plastic tree stand snapped and one of the legs broke.  He was devastated. Asking me things like, “now what will we do?””we have to have a tree, mom” and knowing I didn’t have enough money to go buy another tree or a tree stand.

I  told him, we could pray about it. He looked at me and said, what good will that do?

I explained that if you have faith and you believe, with God anything is possible. I asked him , “do you believe that God can help us fix this stand and it will hold the tree with all the decorations and ornaments on it?” and he said, yeah I guess. Once again, I questioned him, “do you really believe God can do it or are you just saying that?”  He said I believe.

So, I got my trusty duct tape and started working on the tree stand leg and then found a board to secure the tree stand to, with more duct tape.(saying my own silent prayers). And then Michael and I prayed and asked God to make the tree stand work, to hold the tree with all the ornaments and lights and decorations so we could enjoy the beauty of the tree and celebrate Jesus and His birth.

God is so good.  That tree withstood a curious kitten climbing the tree and batting at ornaments and the plastic stand just didn’t last for one season, but four.  And just something as simple as a broken piece of plastic, held together with duct tape and prayers, taught my son about having faith and trusting God.

You see God will use any situation to grow us. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental, just be willing to let him in and you will see miracles happen right before your eyes.

So, even though, I miss our daily good morning hugs and I love you mom goodnight talks, I know Michael will be okay, because he knows God is with him and for him and I am just a call or text away.

May you be able to see God working in your life today. He loves you. Blessings and peace,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

It Is Done

passion image

As I shared with my readers earlier in the month, big changes were happening in my life.  So, now I am confident I can share these changes with you.

I have worked for a great company over the last 16 years and truly imagined that I would still be at that company when I reached official retirement age(which is still quite a way off).  After struggling with several medical issues that cause my body great pain and difficult in walking and moving, I started praying earnestly asking the Lord to lead me and guide me in making the decision to stay or leave.

I know that I made the right decision to resign earlier than planned.  I have HIS peace and for the first time realize that having a paycheck isn’t all there is to life. I realize we all have bills to pay and yes, we need money to survive; but when you make budget cuts and rearrange your budget, you can do it. Am I scared? I can confidently say I have no fear. Which if you knew me at all and how I have always operated, you would understand my reluctance – at first – in understanding what God was telling me to do. I have never in all my life left a place of employment, without having something lined up to go to next.

I have always been very practical in that way.  Always have had a backup plan; not this. time.

This time, I am trusting God to lead me where He wants me to go. I believe He is calling me into using my gifts of words to minister to others.  So, with that being said, I am currently working on a book to encourage others and offer hope. I will continue to write this blog, not just to share Jesus with others, but because I feel this is a small part of His plan for me.

The end of this week will signify the end of one long chapter in my life and the beginning of a new one. As always, I can’t wait to see where God leads me!

May you be blessed and know the God Loves You–right where you are! Much love,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

Stepping out in Faith

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Soon, I will be taking the biggest step of faith in my life. I have been in prayer the last several months trying to decide what is best for me in my life. Seeking God and His infinite wisdom and asking for His peace that only He can give has been a journey of sleepless nights and daytime struggles. As I write this, the peace that has permeated my soul and heart, I know I am doing what God thinks is best for me.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason.  Always. I know God has the best plans for me.  I know that every door that has ever opened or closed was because God made it happen.

Proverbs 3:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.

I am so thankful this verse is in His Word. If I only do things that make sense to me, and don’t walk in obedience, than I am not applying the Word to my life and not trusting Jesus.

I am reminded that many times, when I have been called to walk in obedience and step out in faith, that there has been discomfort and wariness. I’ve even asked God, are you sure? Which is totally ridiculous because He doesn’t make mistakes. Not one. I know that during these many times in my life, when I just couldn’t possibly see with my eyes that everything would be okay and work out; that when I decided to take that step of faith onto the ledge of the unknown , He blessed me in so many ways, that I could never have imagined it would turn out in the ways it did. Do you ever feel that way-that your plan has so many obstacles-and God laughs-and says, “trust me” or “why do you doubt that I don’t have your best interests at heart”? I used to think like that. Haven’t we all? God is the potter and I am the clay.

Isaiah 64:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
    We are the clay, and you are the potter.
    We all are formed by your hand.

Trust when you hear that small voice – from our Great God. That is why he gave us an advocate, The Holy Spirit, to be with us, to guide us on this amazing journey we call life.

As a daughter of God, I am reminded when I do something outside of His Will, the sadness that seeps into my heart and the conviction I feel, I know I am walking outside of His Will for my life. When I hear Him correctly and know through many confirmations, that I am walking in His Will, I have a Peace that cannot be explained any other way that the Peace of God.

And as this new chapter of my life (as I choose to look at) begins to be laid before me, there is a tiny bit of uncertainty as to where I am heading and what I will be doing, but there is great Peace in knowing that I am doing what He is calling me to do. Right now, I am hearing “trust me with everything”,”lean on me”, “let go of things that cause you pain” and ” trust me, I’ve got so much more for you than you can possibly fathom.”  When I, myself know the more, than I will share it with my faithful readers. God always places the right people in my life at the right times and they always know the right things to say~it never ceases to amaze me how much God loves me.

Jeremiah 17:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

God loves you too! If you’re in the crux of making a decision that you can’t seem to find a way around. That the timing isn’t right, or you have fears about stepping out in faith and trusting God, because you just can’t see a way. Trust Him. He has great plans for all of us!

Blessings,

Carlene

 

There is a plan

I know God has a plan and a purpose for my life as sure as I sit here. I have not been on here for a while, because I have been having health difficulties and trying to deal with them. But the one verse that I cling to is Jeremiah 29:11

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.”

Even when I can’t see the outcome, I can thank Him in advance for all the blessings he has and will bestow upon me. My faith is strong and I trust in the Lord with all my heart.

I live with chronic pain, every day, but I know that no matter what I go through or how I feel, God will use everything for good according to His purpose.  Some days are harder than others to get through, but I get through them because I lean on Jesus Christ and cry out when I am not sure what words to say or how to express what I need to; I know the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf.

While celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ today at church, our pastor was speaking on how our lives may seem empty, just as the tomb was found empty all those years ago and because of the darkness in the world, and in our own little worlds, sometimes, in the emptiness, we struggle with what to do and where to turn, and sometimes we forget that God is right there with us as we struggle. He hurts when we hurt, and he is sad for us when we are struggling. He died so that we could have victory and not be overcome by the darkness.

It is my prayer, that if you feel lost and alone, that you will remember that God is with you. He will never leave you or forsake (forget) you.  He loves to hear from His children, and help them in only ways He can.  He is the most loving Father you will ever have, or need.

May the God of Hope and Love wrap His arms around you and give you peace and joy.

Happy Easter!

Much love and blessings,

CarleneJesus welcoming home